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Twitter Mailbag: Redshirting, punting and quarterbacking

Does Anthony Jennings have the edge at quarterback? Who knows. (Bill Feig)

Does Anthony Jennings have the edge at quarterback? Who knows. (Bill Feig)

Twitter Mailbag is a blog series running each Tuesday answering readers’ questions about the LSU football team. Readers submit their questions through Twitter each Tuesday, and the best are posted here with answers. Follow us on Twitter at @DellengerAdv to submit a question.

The Tigers wrapped up the fall camp portion of preseason practice with a scrimmage on Saturday. They’re heading down the home stretch now, less than two weeks shy of the season opener against Wisconsin.

Answer: It’s really too early to start talking redshirts, but you came here for answers and we’ll provide them for you.

I’d expect LSU to play at least a dozen, if not 15, true freshmen this season. That means about 10 won’t play.  Let’s look at the history of LSU and redshirting, though.

The Tigers have redshirted 10, seven and 12 players over the previous three seasons. So we’ll put the number at about eight. Here’s a few I could see redshirting: K Cameron Gamble, LB Donnie Alexander, DB Russell Gage, DT Trey Lealaimatafao, OG Will Clap and OG Garrett Brumfield.

Answer: Punter Jamie Keehn was, indeed, inconsistent last season. This is a tough question to answer since we can’t watch practices or scrimmages, but coach Les Miles did say that Keehn “punted the hell out of it” during Tuesday’s scrimmage.

Answer: Yep. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. Les Miles isn’t what you’d call a risk taker at the quarterback position. He likes to pound the ball and play solid defense.

Anthony Jennings, a veteran, would seem to be the natural pick for Miles. Jennings has at least one college start, and he’s been in the program a year longer than freshman Brandon Harris.

That said, Miles has proven at least one thing over the last few years: He’ll play freshmen, especially if they’re good. But at the quarterback position? He did it with Jordan Jefferson. So, maybe.

Answer: They’re not best friends. Each says they have a relationship, and their high school coaches say the same, but no one’s saying that they’re best buds who hang out all of the time.

Look, they’re major college football players competing for the most prestigious spot on the field. They don’t have to be super close. Harris mentioned at media day that reserve QB Brad Kragthorpe has been a mentor to him.

Answer: Man, that’s no softball of a question. It’s so tough to say since we’re not allowed to watch practice and scrimmages.

I can only judge from the spring game and rumblings from sources who are allowed to watch practice. I’d play the best passer, and I tend to believe that’s Brandon Harris.

Answer: Yeah, you don’t want to be fumbling if you play for Miles. Remember what happened to J.C. Copeland last season? Fumbled on the 1-yard line against Alabama and never touched the ball the rest of the year.

Anyway, no we don’t know about Fournette’s ball security. But his arms are strong and that can’t be a negative. After a scrimmage recently Miles did mention that the ball security with LSU’s running backs was good.

With all of the hype surrounding this guy, I’d imagine he knows how to hold on to the football, but we won’t know for sure until the real games begin.

Answer: I don’t think so, but it’s certainly possible. We do know that Harris has a relationship with Fournette and Malachi Dupre. That trio has been working out together since National Signing Day. And we saw Dupre and Harris hook up a lot in practice during the first week of fall camp.

Meanwhile, it’s clear that Jennings has a relationship with Dural (remember this).

Answer: Two weeks ago, I would have told you Dupre. Right now, I’m telling you Quinn.

That said, I think both Quinn and Dupre are in line to receive substantial playing time this season. Quinn is being used throughout the field, even taking some handoffs in the I-back, according to comments from Miles.

Dupre seems to be the tall, lanky speedster on the outside, but he’s been suffering from a lingering injury and has missed much of fall camp. He returned for Tuesday’s scrimmage.

‘The Les Miles Show’ debuts Wednesday

Les Miles

Les Miles

“The Les Miles Show” returns to the radio airwaves Wednesday for the 2014 season. The season premier is set for 7 p.m. at T.J. Ribs on Acadian Thruway at I-10.

“The Les Miles Show” can be heard across Louisiana on the LSU Sports Radio Network, including on 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge and on the GeauxZone at LSUSports.net and on the LSUSports mobile app.

Cox Sports Television will televise the show on a tape-delayed basis each Wednesday at 8 p.m.

“The Les Miles Show” will run for 15 straight weeks during the fall, including the week of both open dates. The final show of the regular season will be held the week of the Texas A&M game.

LSU play-by-play announcer Jim Hawthorne once again serves as host. Hawthorne is beginning his 32nd season as the “Voice of the Tigers.”

LSU highlights on the SEC Network through Aug. 24

SEC Now - August 14, 2014

 

Here’s a look at LSU highlights on the SEC Network through Sunday, Aug. 24:

Wednesday

  • 2 a.m.: Football vs. Tennessee, 2005

Thursday

  • Midnight: Football at Kentucky, 2007

Friday

  • 9 p.m.: Football season preview
  • 10 p.m.: Football season preview

Saturday

  • 11 p.m.: SEC Storied: Lolo (feature on former LSU hurdler Lolo Jones)

Sunday

  • Midnight: Football vs Florida, 2007
  • 2:30 a.m.: Football vs. Auburn, 2007
  • 5 a.m.: Football at Alabama, 2011
  • 7 a.m.: BCS National Championship Game vs. OhioState
  • 9 a.m.: Football season preview

 

How I Voted: Preseason

Jameis Winston and Florida State begin the season No. 1 in our poll.

Jameis Winston and Florida State begin the season No. 1 in our poll.

How I Voted will be a weekly blog in which Ross Dellenger reveals his AP Top 25 voting with a blurb on each explaining that team’s ranking.

1. Florida State

  • Easy No. 1. ‘Noles return a lot, including the Heisman winner.

2. Oklahoma

  • Sooners carry 2013′s season-ending romp over Bama into 2014.

3. Ohio State

  • Braxton Miller is good – in the air and on the ground.

4. Oregon

  • Defense has questions but the offense is the best around.

5. Alabama

  • The Tide’s surrounding talent will help its new QB.

6. UCLA

  • High right? Bruins return 15 starters, including QB Brett Hundley.

7. Auburn

  • Key players were lost, but QB Nick Marshall still has some magic.

8. Stanford

  • Four straight 11-plus win seasons for the Cardinal.

9. Baylor

  • Returning QB Bryce Petty threw for 4,200 yards last year.

10. Georgia

  • RB Todd Gurley might be the nation’s best.

11. South Carolina

  • RB Mike Davis and QB Dylan Thompson are ready to shine.

12. Michigan State

  • RB Jeremy Langford and his 1,422 yards return.

13. Ole Miss

  • Freeze finally begins to see production from highly rated classes.

14. LSU

  • Young and inexperienced, the Tigers are still loaded with talent.

15. Notre Dame

  • Offense must be better, and defense has replacing to do.

16. Missouri

  • Don’t sleep on them. Remember when everyone did last year?

17. Nebraska

  • Ameer Abdullah leads a squad ready to avoid another 4-loss year.

18. Wisconsin

  • Badgers have QB questions and are young on defense.

19. Southern Cal

  • New coach doesn’t mean complete drop off for talented Trojans.

20. Kansas State

  • Wildcats won six of final seven last year with QB Jake Waters.

21. Arizona State

  • Dual-threat QB Taylor Kelly is back.

22. Clemson

  • Loads of talent to replace could mean a drop off in Ws.

23. North Carolina

  • Several offensive skill players return in Fedora’s third year.

24. Washington

  • Chris Peterson begins to install his Boise magic.

25. Duke

  • Duke beats out Florida, TAMU, UCF, BYU, Miami for final spot.

Twitter Mailbag: QB battle, win totals and more

Anthony Jennings entered fall camp as the No. 1 on the QB depth chart. Will he keep it? (HILARY SCHEINUK ).

Anthony Jennings entered fall camp as the No. 1 on the QB depth chart. Will he keep it? (HILARY SCHEINUK ).

Twitter Mailbag is a new blog series running each Tuesday answering readers’ questions about the LSU football team. Readers submit their questions through Twitter each Tuesday, and the best are posted here with answers. Follow us on Twitter at @DellengerAdv to submit a question.

LSU is in the midst of its second week of fall camp. This week’s Twitter Mailbag is full of goodies.

Answer: Who knows. We’re all assuming Brandon Harris and Anthony Jennings will play in the season opener on Aug. 30, but maybe they won’t. That’s still a possibility, though, not probable.

The two quarterbacks could be battling to the end of the season and beyond (remember Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee?).

But to get back to answering your question. One would think that coach Les Miles and OC Cam Cameron would likely to lock down a starter by the time LSU kicks off Southeastern Conference play – Sept. 20 against Mississippi State.

Answer: Great question. It hasn’t been asked (lazy media). But among the interview sessions and practice watching no one has seen or mentioned a new defensive alignment, like the 3-4.

In a way, though, LSU plays three-down linemen a handful of times per game. The Mustang package (3-2-6) is a scheme that uses three linemen, two linebackers and six defensive backs, for those who don’t know.

The Tigers are strong and deep at linebacker this year, though. It’ll be interesting to see how they use that group.

Answer: In the contrary, LSU contends that a neutral site game in a large metropolitan area like Houston does, in fact, help the Tigers in recruiting. LSU associate athletic director Verge Ausberry explained the team’s neutral site scheduling in this story. 

Also keep in mind that Houston, I believe, is LSU’s largest alumni base among cities outside of Louisiana. It should be noted that Wisconsin claims LSU declined the option to have the two-game series on the respective schools’ campuses. The Tigers and Badgers meet again in 2016 at Lambeau Field.

Answer: Mills should be one of LSU’s starting safeties, and he’s working as one of the key DBs in the Tigers’ Mustang package.

Miles is likely to suspend Mills for a certain amount of games or quarters this season (See Jeremy Hill last year – five quarters), but that doesn’t mean he won’t be a starting safety.

In fact, according to comments from players, Mills is the leader of the secondary. He’ll be making the defensive calls and knows each position.

Answer: Oh man – an over/under on wins. And you’ve picked a good one – nine. That’s a toughie, but …

Under.

I know, that’s not going to please a lot of fans. The Tigers are so young and so inexperienced that it’s tough to think they’ll hit the double-digit mark a fifth straight season. However, I do think nine is the number. In an over/under, I can’t pick that.

Answer: A two-quarterback system is run for a few reasons.

First, one quarterback doesn’t have all of the attributes needed so a team must play two. Second, the two are so dissimilar that coaches believe rotating them will challenge a defense.

An advantage would be just that – challenging to a defense. Although Jennings and Harris aren’t completely dissimilar, they still have their differences. Rotating them could be tricky for a defense.

LSU highlights from first two weeks of SEC Network schedule

With the launch of the SEC Network now just three days away, the Southeastern Conference and ESPN have released a snapshot of programming on the network over its first two weeks (Aug. 14-28).

The very first show will be at 5 p.m. Thursday called “SEC Now,” a three-hour program which will feature all 14 SEC schools and touch on the conference’s 21 sports.

Each school will have a series of football games featured from recent years, including every BCS championship game involving an SEC school starting at 6 a.m.  Saturday. LSU’s games against Oklahoma, Ohio State and Alabama will be included.

A block of LSU featured programming starts at 11 p.m. Aug. 22 with an “SEC Storied” feature on former LSU All-American and Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones. That will be followed by:

  • LSU vs. Florida, 2007
  • LSU vs. Auburn, 2007
  • LSU vs. Alabama, 2011
  • LSU vs. Ohio State, 2008 BCS title game.

Each SEC football team will have it’s own preview show leading up to the coming season. The LSU football preview debuts at 9 p.m. Aug. 22.

Other LSU football games scheduled for the network include:

  • LSU vs. Georgia, 2013 (block of games starts at 10 p.m. Friday)
  • LSU vs. Ole Miss, 2013 (block of games starts at 11 p.m. Monday)
  • LSU vs. Tennessee, 2005 (block of games starts  at 11 p.m. Tuesday)
  • LSU vs. Kentucky, 2007 (block of games starts at 11 p.m. Wednesday)
  • LSU vs. Arkansas, 2007 and 2010 (block of games starts at 11 p.m. Aug. 24)

The first two weeks of SEC Network programming culminates with an Aug. 28 football doubleheader. Texas A&M plays at South Carolina at 5 p.m. CDT, then Vanderbilt hosts Temple at 8:15 p.m.

For more information, visit the SEC Network home page.

 

 

 

The first LSU game on the list is the Tigers’ 2004 Sugar Bowl triumph over Oklahoma for the BCS national championship

LSU Camp Review: Week 1

Les Miles and LSU head into Week 2 of fall camp Monday.

Les Miles and LSU head into Week 2 of fall camp Monday.

CAMP REVIEW

Where They Stand

LSU completed its first week of fall practice on Saturday with the team’s first two-a-days (both practices were completely closed to reporters). The Tigers are one-quarter of the way through preseason practices and will have their first scrimmage (closed) Saturday.

Three Questions Answered

Jamal Adams got the best of Malachi Dupre during the Big Cat drill.

Jamal Adams got the best of Malachi Dupre during the Big Cat drill.

  • Who has the edge at right guard? It appears that senior Hoko Fanaika has, at least, a slight edge in the battle with Evan Washington for the starting right guard spot. Still, there’s a way to go with this competition.
  • How much will freshman WR Malachi Dupre be involved in the offense? A lot. We’ve seen Dupre working with the veterans/starters during the first four days of split-squad scrimmages. He’s impressed teammates and coaches.
  • Who among the young defensive tackles will step up? Frank Herron. Coach Les Miles called Herron a “beast” earlier this week, and players have raved about Herron’s non-stop motor. He appears to be the favorite to take over for injured Quentin Thomas.
Leonard Fournette was the No. 1-ranked recruit in the nation.

Leonard Fournette was the No. 1-ranked recruit in the nation.

Three Questions Unanswered

  • Who will replace Odell Beckham Jr. as the return man? Miles would not reveal any names when asked this week, and reporters aren’t privy to those portions of practice. Travin Dural and Terrence Magee are listed on the depth chart, but that’s not in stone.
  • Is Leonard Fournette living up to the hype? The No. 1 question fans want answered. Stop asking. We might not know until Aug. 30. Reporters have only seen him for a brief time in full pads. One thing’s clear – he’s a big guy, especially in pads.

Best Of Week 1

  • Mills returns: Jalen Mills, booked on a felony, was charged for misdemeanor simple battery. That was enough for Miles. He allowed Mills to return to a D that needs him. He knows every position, is expected to start at safety and be the secondary’s signal-caller.

Worst Of Week 1

Quentin Thomas, the day before his season-ending injury. (BILL FEIG)

Quentin Thomas, the day before his season-ending injury. (BILL FEIG)

  • Thomas out: Projected starting defensive tackle Quentin Thomas tore his biceps and is out for the season. A redshirt junior, Thomas leaves the tackle position low on experience. The Tigers have just one other tackle who’s played meaningful game snaps.

Trending Down

  • Defensive line: Thomas’ injury is a hit to the depth and experience at tackle.
  • Offense: Miles said earlier this week that the D is head of the O. Time to get it in gear.

Trending Up

  • Leonard Fournette: His pure size is enough to have fans drooling about the prospects.
  • Linebackers: This deep, strong unit is full of experience and talent.